What Causes Depression At Night?
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There are a number of causes that can contribute to increased depression at night. One commonly suggested a reason for the increase is the lack of distractions. During the day, it’s a little easier for some people — especially those with mild or moderate depression — to keep themselves busy. Work, school, or social activities act as a distraction during the day. But at night, when you settle down to sleep, there’s nothing but you and your thoughts.
Researchers have looked into other things that could be increasing our nighttime depression symptoms. According to 2013 research on animals, bright lights (especially blue and white) at night can not only keep us awake but may also increase symptoms of depression. In the study, even having a TV on in a dark room increased the animal’s cortisol levels and created changes in their hippocampus, both of which can increase depressive symptoms.
It’s also thought that if your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your depression may be triggered or your symptoms could increase in severity. One 2009 study found that increased artificial light can significantly disrupt our circadian rhythm, causing or increasing mood disorders like depression.
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